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Topological Defects

1st July 1994 to 31st December 1994

Organisers: T W B Kibble (Imperial College), A J Bray (Manchester), R M Ward (Durham)

Programme Theme

Topological defects appear in a vast array of physical situations, ranging from unified theories of elementary particles at the very highest energy scales to low temperature laboratory phenomena near absolute zero. These defects exhibit remarkably similar behaviour, whether it be the reconnection of cosmic strings or of superfluid vortices, or the evolution of a defect network in a liquid crystal or in an expanding universe. Despitethis very substantial overlap, there has been surprisingly little interaction between particle physicists and condensed-matter theorists. Indeed, it is not difficult to cite examples of closely related advances which were arrived at independently, a notable example being the simultaneous recognition of the relevance of homotopy theory for classifying topological defects. This programme aims to rectify this deficiency, while furthering the mathematical study of topological defects in each of their primary contexts. The programme will bring together experts in field theory, cosmology, geometry, condensed-matter physics and high-energy particle physics.

Programme

There will be a regular seminar programme throughout the period. Additional topical meetings have been arranged as follows:

  • 14--15 July: Topological Defects in Superfluids, Superconductors and Liquid Crystals

    Principal lecturers:

    A. Leggett, P. McClintock, M. Moore, J. Toner, H. Toyoki, A. Dorsey, P. Shah

  • 21 August--3 September: Advanced Study Institute on Formation and Interactions of Topological Defects

    Principal lecturers:

    A Bray, B Carter, R Durrer, N Goldenfeld, T Kibble, M Kleman, H Kleinert, N Manton, G Mazenko, R Rivers, P Shellard, J Toner, N Turok, B Yurke, W Zurek.

  • 12--13 September: Defects in First-order Phase Transitions
  • 19 September: Spitalfields Day, sponsored by the London Mathematical Society, on Soliton Dynamics and Moduli Spaces
  • 12--13 October: Numerical Approaches to Defect Evolution

Participation

The following are expected to participate in the programme for the periods indicated:

Ach A 21 Aug--3 Sep, 1 Nov--19 Nov, Albrecht, B 17 Jul--31 Jul, 21 Aug--3 Sep, Allen, B 17 Sep--16 Dec, Bhattacharjee, P 14 Aug--10 Sep, Bogolubsky, I 21 Aug--17 Sep, Borrill, J 21 Aug--3 Sep, 18 Sep--29 Oct, Boyanovsky, D 21 Aug--3 Sep, 9 Oct--29 Oct, Brandenburger, R 7 Jul--31 Aug, 1 Nov--16 Dec, Bray, A 21 Aug--17 Dec, Caldwell, R 14 Jul--7 Aug, Carter, B 21 Aug--17 Sep, Chudnovsky, E 1 Aug--21 Aug, Chuong, N 30 Oct--16 Dec, Copeland, E 2 Oct--16 Dec, Davis, A 7 Jul--16 Dec, De Vega, H 7--15 Jul, 28 Aug--3 Sep, 16--30 Oct, Dorsey, A 7 Jul--31 Jul, Duff, M 1 Sep--17 Dec, Gleiser, M 1 Dec--10 Dec, Gottlieb, D 31 Oct--26 Nov, Hindmarsh, M 30 Oct--16 Dec, Holman, R 24 Jul--28 Aug, Jackiw, R21 Aug--3 Sep, Kephart, T 2 Oct--29 Oct, Kibble, T 7 Jul--17 Dec, Kleman M 21 Aug--30 Sep, Lee, C 15 Aug--30 Aug, Lee, K 7 Jul--30 Jul, Leggett, A 7 Jul--30 Jul, Letelier, P 2 Oct--16 Dec, Liddle, A 21 Aug--3 Sep, 30 Oct--19 Nov, Lyth, D 1 Oct--17 Dec, Maharana, J 2 Oct--29 Oct, Mazenko, G 15 Aug--16 Sep, Monastyrsky, M 21 Aug--15 Oct, Montgomery, R 1 Aug--16 Dec, Nattermann, T 1 Aug--14 Aug, Nunes, J 17 Jul--30 Jul, Pi, S 21 Aug--3 Sep, Pranevicius, L 7 Jul--13 Aug, Puri, S 1 Oct--7 Dec, Rey, S 7 Jul--23 Jul, 14 Aug--3 Sep, Rivers, R 22 Aug--30 Sep, Rivier, N 21 Aug--30 Sep, Rutenberg, A 2 Oct--16 Dec, Sakellariadou, M 7 Aug--3 Sep, Salomaa, M 21 Aug--17 Sep, Sasaki, M 2 Oct--29 Oct, Schroers, B 7 Aug--3 Sep, 27 Nov--16 Dec, Schwarz, A 1 Jul--17 Jul, 1 Aug--20 Sep, Shafi, Q 27 Jul--20 Aug, Sikivie, P 14 Nov--16 Dec, Sluckin, T 16 Oct--12 Nov, Stebbins, A 17 Jul--15 Oct, Toner, J 7 Jul--30 Jul, 21 Aug--3 Sep, Toyoki, H 16 Jul--15 Sep, Trebin, H 25 Jul--31 Oct, Turok, N 7 Jul--16 Dec, Vachaspati, T 7 Jul--16 Dec, Vilenkin, A 1 Aug--3 Sep, Ward, R 7 Jul--17 Dec, Weinberg, E 7 Jul--31 Jul, Zakrzewski, W 1 Aug--30 Sep, Zurek, W 18 Aug--3 Sep, 11 Sep--1 Oct

Topological defects appear in a vast array of physical situations, ranging from unified theories of elementary particles at the very highest energy scales to low temperature laboratory phenomena near absolute zero. These defects exhibit remarkably similar behaviour, whether it be the reconnection of cosmic strings or of superfluid vortices, or the evolution of a defect network in a liquid crystal or in an expanding universe. Despite this very substantial overlap, there has been surprisingly little interaction between particle physicists and condensed-matter theorists. Indeed, it is not difficult to cite examples of closely related advances which were arrived at independently, a notable example being the simultaneous recognition of the relevance of homotopy theory for classifying topological defects. This programme aims to rectify this deficiency, while furthering the mathematical study of topological defects in each of their primary contexts. The programme will bring together experts in field theory, cosmology, geometry, condensed-matter physics and high-energy particle physics.

University of Cambridge Research Councils UK
    Clay Mathematics Institute The Leverhulme Trust London Mathematical Society Microsoft Research NM Rothschild and Sons